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    Oh Deer: Loss Rates and Recovery (part 1)

    Wounded deer found using the Pro-Tracker system.

    As hunters our primary goal every time we go out is to hunt and recover our animal; not only because that is the point of the hunt, but because know that there is no feeling worse than knowing you injured, or killed, an animal and that after exhaustive searching it is nowhere to be found because of issues beyond your control; like no blood trail, rain, or the blood trail just quitting. Unfortunately, that exact thing happened to one of our owners and spurred him to create the Pro-tracker recovery system. We know many of you agree that this is an issue, and we hope that this will never happen to you, but this is still an issue worth reviewing. So, let’s take a deeper look, shall we?

    • Even though deer loss was first presented as a serious issue via controlled studies performed in 1989, we are still experiencing at 18% wounding rate per 104 bowhunters.
    • In a normal hunting season it is estimated that 908 white tail deer are hit, but only 746 are actually recovered. That means that there are approximately 162 lost, injured, or killed animals that are never recovered (1).
    • In further studies it was found that most hunts they experienced had a 50% wounding rate; meaning only half of the hunters performed a kill shot on the first try.
    • Of the animal’s injured by hunters in that controlled study, 14% of those lost, injured, or killed animals were never recovered.
    • Furthermore, that controlled study found only 4% of these injured deer actually died from their wounds annually, which means 96% of these injured deer were left to suffer through life with a potentially debilitating injury (2).
    • If you look at studies, such as this one by the Oklahoma Fish and Wildlife Agency, you’ll find that in their research they have found that 50% of the deer that were shot were never recovered, which to us is entirely unacceptable.
    Upon further reading you’ll find that in this study there was a wounding loss of 14%. That means that 14% of those deer that were failed to be recovered sustained fatal injuries and one of those deer managed to survive with these injuries for 5-7 days before finally perishing. We as hunters owe it to these animals to ensure they suffer as little as possible, which means we need to recover them in a timely manner.
    • In similar studies it was found that for every 8 deer shot and killed, an average of 9 were wounded (3)

    We don’t know about you, but we find those statistics incredibly upsetting. Which is why we feel like our Pro-Tracker recovery system is such an important part of a bowhunters arsenal. Our system will allow you to hunt and track as you always have, and to enjoy taking advantage of the knowledge and skill those require, but when something goes awry our system will be there to help you make sure you recover your animals. Let our system help make sure you can hunt with confidence, and add our Pro-Tracker recovery system to your hunting equipment today!

    1. Ditchkoff, Stephen S., Edgar R. Welch Jr., Robert L. Lochmiller, Ronald E. Masters, William R. Starry, William C. Dinkines. 1998. Wounding of White-tailed Deer with Traditional Archery Equipment. Proc. Annu. Conf. Southeast. Assoc. Fish and Wildl. Agencies 52:244-248. Website:
    2. Pedersen, Andy M., Seth Berry, Jeffrey C. Bossart. 2008. Wounding Rates of White –tailed Deer with Modern Archery Equipment. Proc. Annu. Conf. Southeast. Assoc. Fish and Wildl. Agencies 62:31–34
    3. Adrian, Benke. The Bowhunting Alternative. 1989.


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The Pro-Tracker® Transmitter is a rechargeable, lightweight, water resistant transmitter that disengages from the arrow upon impact; allowing for pass-throughs. The transmitter hooks into the animal’s hide and begins sending Radio Frequency (RF) signals every three seconds for the duration of the battery life (10-12 hours). You will need the Pro-Tracker® Receiver to read and track the signal.




The Carrier is what screws into your arrow and holds the transmitter. It is aerodynamically designed to compensate for the weight and shape of the transmitter. Meaning minimal adjustments to your equipment for the same precision. This item comes in a pack of four.





ReceiverYAGI Antenna

The Pro-Tracker® Radio Frequency (RF) Receiver is a compact system with an easy to attach antenna. This state of the art receiver can track up to 6 different transmitter signals at the same time. Displaying signal strength, transmitter number, current time, time spent tracking, and current battery life, all on a easy to read LED screen. Available only in the Pro-Tracker© System



Carrying Case

The Pro-Tracker® custom metal carrying case helps you keep track of your Pro-Tracker system and ensures everything stays together. Its lightweight and durable design ensures your equipment is protected while being as easy as possible to carry during your hunting trip and recovering your trophy.




This dual-charging station allows you to charge up to two transmitters at a time. It includes both a USB and outlet adapter. The outlet adapter allows you to charge your transmitters at home while the USB adapters allow you to charge your transmiters in your truck for extended hunting trips.




The patented Pro-Tracker® Recovery System will help you locate your kill with durable, state of the art technology. The compact system can track 6 different transmitters while using the same RF receiver with an easy to read LED screen. Best of all, our transmitters don’t require the purchase of batteries and can be recharged both at home and out in the field.



The Pro-Tracker® System has been field tested by top experts in the archery industry. With the Pro-Tracker® Archery System you’ll see virtually no difference in the trajectory of your arrow because of the aerodynamic carrier. Tests have shown the Pro-Tracker® Recovery System will give you many hours of use and the precision to recovery your trophy.



deer hunt
As a bow hunter, we appreciate the skill required to take an animal. We enjoy the smell of fresh air and the morning chill that seeps into your bones as you sit quietly and wait for an animal to wander into view. We understand the importance of a steady hand and careful aim; there is no feeling better than letting that arrow fly and hitting your mark. As bow hunters, we also understand the frustration when your perfectly aimed shot seems to go awry (i.e. hitting a branch or an unexpected object). If you miss, you go find your arrow and try again. If you wound your animal you can spend hours or days tracking the blood trail, hoping the weather holds until you find your kill. The sad fact though, is that while many times you will find your quarry, there are just as many times that an animal is unrecovered.
Looking back, you will find studies related to deer loss rates in bow hunting dating back to 1989. When the studies first began, the amount of animals wounded and lost is astounding, but as bow hunting equipment has improved, the number of animal losses has decreased substantially. Unfortunately, even with these decreases, the ratio of unrecovered animals is still causing concern within the bow hunting community and general public. We wanted to look deeper into deer loss rates, and focused on information obtained in two of the better known studies done by Stephen S. Ditchkoff et al and M. Andy Pedersen at al. One study found that of 104 bow hunters, there was an 18% wounding rate. Within a normal hunting season these hunters hit a total of 908 white tail deer, recovering only 746 (Pedersen et al 2008). In another study, it was determined that there was a 50% wounding rate and of that number 14% weren’t recovered. Of these deer 4% died annually from these wounds, while the rest survived (Ditchkoff et al. 1998).

pro-tracker bow huntIn the reports, we found that while many of the deer either die (Ditchkoff) or are recovered within 24 hours (Pedersen), that some can survive 5-7 days with wounds before they perish. When looking at these numbers and percentages for any individual state, the number of animals that are not recovered seems miniscule. However once you look at the entire population of bow hunters within the United States alone, the amount becomes much more significant (Ditchkoff). This more significant number of unrecovered animals has been causing animal rights and anti-hunting activists to state that bow hunting is both cruel and inhumane. It is because of this that the Pro-Tracker was invented. Our goal is to eliminate the possibility of losing even one animal while maintaining the integrity of the hunt. Pro-Tracker has been in use since 2010 and thus far we have a 100% accuracy rate in animal recovery. The Pro-Tracker system, while not ideal for every hunter, is thus far supporting the goal of striving to ensure bow hunting is appreciated for the skill it requires and given the support it deserves, rather than seen in a negative light. With technology and advancement in the archery industry, we can help in recovering the animals wounded and work to improve the loss rate. We all have a responsibility to the natural resources we are given; no one is perfect every time. Accidents do happen, and we need to be prepared for those occasions.

Literature Cited:
1. Ditchkoff, Stephen S., Edgar R. Welch Jr., Robert L. Lochmiller, Ronald E. Masters, William R. Starry, William C. Dinkines. 1998. Wounding of White-tailed Deer with Traditional Archery Equipment. Proc. Annu. Conf. Southeast. Assoc. Fish and Wildl. Agencies 52:244-248. Website:

2. Pedersen, Andy M., Seth Berry, Jeffrey C. Bossart. 2008. Wounding Rates of White –tailed Deer with Modern Archery Equipment. Proc. Annu. Conf. Southeast. Assoc. Fish and Wildl. Agencies 62:31–34